2011 JERUSHA KLEMPERER
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL PROGRAMS, SLOW FOOD USA & FOODCORPS
Jerusha hits all the marks: a former actress with a passion for food, she knew she’d have to take an entry level gig in order to work her way up. Now she’s not only working for one of the most influential non-profits in the industry, Slow Food, but also helping to implement a new tool for battling obesity, specifically in young children, at FoodCorps. She might just inspire you to get involved.
What attracted you to a good food job?
It was important to me to have a job that I was passionate about, working on an issue that meant a lot to me. Making a change in our nation’s food system is that issue—I knew my interest ran deep, and I’ve been lucky to discover over time just how deep (i.e. Very!).
How did you get your current good food job?
I first started at Slow Food USA as the assistant to the Executive Director. I saw the job listed on Idealist (this was back in early 2006). I had a lot of non-profit experience but none in food, so I took an assistant job since I was basically starting over.
How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?
I used to be an actor. My years of training prepped me pretty well for all of the communications and public speaking I do as part of my job.
What advice do you have for others in search of a good food job?
When I was transitioning from one career to another, I spent over a year interning, volunteering, learning. The people I met that year and the things I learned set me up really well. There are so many ways to dig in deep to food and food issues—go to talks, see movies, attend networking drinks, etc. It’s actually a smallish world—it won’t take long to meet everyone!
If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
Pretzel croissants from City Bakery, please.